Naltrexone is typically used as part of a drug or alcohol treatment program. Naltrexone reduces the urge to consume alcohol and blocks the effects of various opioid medications. The medication is not a cure for addiction but can help prevent relapse in dependent individuals.
For maximum benefit, naltrexone must be taken exactly as prescribed. Depending on the patient’s circumstances, the medication may need to be administered by a caregiver or family member to prevent misuse. Naltrexone should be taken with a full glass of water. It can also be taken with food to prevent stomach upset. Store Naltrexone at room temperature and away from heat and moisture. Take a missed dose when remembered, but skip it if it close to time for the next scheduled dose.
Naltrexone should be considered one component of a comprehensive addiction recovery program that includes counseling and monitoring. Individuals taking naltrexone should carry an ID card or wear a medical alert tag advising health care providers that they are taking the medication. Patients undergoing surgery should notify their surgeon that they are taking naltrexone. Patients should talk to their physician before taking medications to treat a cold, cough, pain, or diarrhea. These medications may contain narcotics or alcohol that can interact with naltrexone. It is important to avoid all narcotic medications and alcohol while taking naltrexone. The medication can make the body more sensitive to opioids, which can increase the risk of opioid overdose or even death.
The most common side effects of naltrexone include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, insomnia, and feeling nervous or anxious.
Individuals should not take naltrexone if they are currently using opioid medications, are currently experiencing opioid or alcohol withdrawal symptoms, have used opioids within the last 10 days, or have used buprenorphine or methadone within the past two weeks. Naltrexone should not be taken while nursing. Women who become pregnant or who plan to become pregnant should consult their doctor before taking naltrexone. We can help you achieve your health care goals by providing quality, affordable compounded and commercial medications. Also, consider and ask your pharmacist about low-dose naltrexone and whether it is right for you. Call us today for more information.
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